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As she sat on his bed, unruffled unlike other days, she saw something. It was an envelope. On top of it was written ‘For Mom and Dad’.
They hurried towards the terminal from where Sameer was to board the flight to the US. The airport was abuzz with activity despite the late hours. Hema looked at Sameer and was overcome with emotions, yet again. Her husband put his hand on her shoulder, at once aware of the sudden surge of emotions that overwhelmed her.
Hema looked at Sudhir, her husband and pillar of strength for the last twenty five years. He was always a picture of resilience and steadfastness. But today, even he seemed to be grappling to keep his emotions in check.
Sameer, their son was leaving for the US to study for his bachelor’s degree. They had known it all along. They had known that one day he would move on. They had known that it is the parents’ duty to bring up the child and steer him towards his true calling. They had known they would witness the ‘empty nest syndrome’ sooner or later. But, still they were miserable.
Saying that Sameer was brimming with excitement would be an understatement. It was an important day in his life as he was inching closer to his dream.
But he was also worried as to how his parents would deal with his absence. Their life had revolved around him all these years. And suddenly, they would be bereft of someone who meant the world to them. Though technology had truly become a boon for all those who were miles apart from their loved ones, nothing could really substitute the human touch.
His flight was announced and he turned towards his mom and dad. The dreaded moment had come. It was time to bid adieu. His father held his ground bravely while his mom broke down. Hema got a grip over herself and tried feigning a smile, as she did not want to give a tearful farewell to her son. Moreover, in no time, he would be home during the Christmas break, she consoled herself.
The drive back home was a quiet one for both Sudhir and Hema. Silence spoke a thousand words and they thought it best to keep mum.
It was almost three in the morning by the time they reached home. Hema tossed and turned on the large poster bed as sleep was elusive. Finally, she stood upright and walked towards the living room. On a whim she turned towards Sameer’s room. As she sat on his bed, unruffled unlike other days, she saw something. It was an envelope. On top of it was written ‘For Mom and Dad’.
It took her by surprise. Slowly, she opened the envelope. It contained a letter.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I know you must be wondering what this is all about. Well, I know, you would have seen this letter within a few hours of reaching home. I know you must be missing me terribly. I know you must be feeling a void in your hearts and home. And I know you must be feeling a million other things which I cannot understand.
I worry about you. But, that is not enough. As you held my hand and helped me walk, today I also intend to do the same. As I embrace a new way of life with open arms, so will you. All your lives, you have lived for me. But from today, you will live for yourself, with each other.
I am enclosing tickets for a ten day Europe trip. I am sure you and dad will have the time of your life. There is so much beauty in the world and it is never too late to experience it all.
Take care of each other.
PS- Do not worry, I saved the money from the summer jobs. I have never been good at giving surprises but I sincerely hope this one is an exception.
As Hema finished reading, she smiled. When did her little boy grow up? She took out the tickets and kept them in the bedside drawer.
She should sleep now. There was so much to be done. She had to tell Sudhir, first thing in the morning. Lots of packing had to be done. The coming days would be busy. But before doing anything she grabbed her phone and typed a message ‘You are good at giving surprises after all ’- Love, Ma.
The phone beeped. Sameer looked at the incoming message. He grinned from ear to ear.
Published here earlier.
Image source: shutterstock
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